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Blitz To Curb Environmental Crimes Launched

The Government has launched a 45-day drive to address sand poaching, wetlands invasion, littering and other environmental crimes rampant in Harare Province.

Speaking at a recent Inter ministerial committee meeting held in the capital, Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Tafadzwa Muguti said the government will embark on a blitz to deal with all environment crimes.

“The province is a poor condition owing to poor refuse collection, illegal settlements on wetlands, sand poaching which has encroached to cemeteries and illegal production of bricks in undesignated areas all this is being done and local authorities are turning a blind eye,” he said.

The 45-day drive will see to the eradication of sand poaching, littering around the province, wetland protection and production of bricks in various areas which is putting people’s lives at risk and destruction of infrastructure.

“As government we are putting in place measures to stop dumping of waste in undesignated areas, we are going to introduce block tickets around the province, this means that if there is waste which is dumped around any premises or residential area, people within that vicinity with pay fines to the local authority,” said Muguti.

A statutory instrument is to be put in place by Environmental Management Agency (EMA) which will give local authorities in Harare Metropolitan, Ruwa, Epworth and Chitungwiza sole rights to sell sand to those in need of it and do away with illegal sand poaching.

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Transport operators have also been mandated to offer bins in their vehicles to stop the litter being thrown out of windows something that has become a norm in the province, failure to possess a bin will result in fines which will used for waste management.

Muguti said there will be establishment of Command Centres and Local authorities Inspectorate and Monitoring Unit to see progress of the intensive drive, the unit will consist representatives from the Ministry, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Local authorities, Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID), and EMA.

“This unit will see to the enforcement of the aforementioned measures to make sure the citizenry adheres to the new measures put in place in a bid to achieve smart city status,” he said.

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